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Dear WI Dems, please keep doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results

Dear WI Dems, please keep doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results

They just can’t help themselves.  Despte throwing everything the had at it, the Wisconsin Democrat/Union coalition lost the Prosser/Kloppenburg statewide election, and then failed to pick up the three seats needed to take control of the state Senate.  Having lost, Democrats declared victory.

Democrats have convinced themselves that almost winning is the same as winning.  It’s like Little League T-ball; every time Democrats lose in Wisconsin they give themselves a loud round of applause and a pat on the back because they tried.

Yet the dream lives on, stoked in part by some wishy-washy analysis by Nate Silver, that Democrats can unseat Scott Walker in a recall election which would take place sometime early next year.

I say bring it on, for reasons which a sane commenter at DailyKos pointed out in reaction to a post by Markos Moulistas claiming victory, which invoked Silver’s analysis that a recall against Walker would be close (emphasis mine):

 …but, if all we can get from tonight is that we’d have a “toss-up” in a Walker recall, we should really fold our tents on further efforts of the sort, and concentrate on the regular 2012 legislative elections in Wisconsin.

Look at it this way:  so far, this year, we’ve had two tries to remake the political landscape following the union-busting law.  First was the SC election…we lost (by a close margin).  Then, we had tonight’s recalls…we lost (by a close margin).  Do we really want to pour our resources into yet another attempt, where there’s every chance that we’d once again lose (by a close margin)?  Eventually, when you keep trying and failing, the electorate starts to turn against you for a) wasting their time on endless do-overs, and b) demonstrating “disrespect” for them by trying to nullify the result of their original vote.  (Witness how, when voters narrowly reject a referendum or bond issue, and the backers re-submit the proposal the next time around, it usually goes on to lose by a larger margin the second time.  There will come a point where Wisconsin Democrats are going to become known as the party that demands a recall every time they get an election result they don’t like — and, at that point, people are going to start voting Republican to “send a message” that they want their votes respected in the first place.)

As far as I’m concerned, if extrapolated results from this election show that we could easily defeat Walker next time around, go for it.  However, if it merely shows a “toss-up,” even after all that has happened…just remember that a definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results.”

Walker will win the recall, but more important, it will set a nice stage for the 2012 presidential election with the relative good fortune of a business friendly conservative Republican administration in Wisconsin contrasted with the dismal performance of Obama and national Democrats.

A victory by Walker after Democrats and the unions once again throw everything they have into the race will have another upside.  It will set Walker up as a potential Vice Presidential nominee, someone from the heartland who has taken the necessary steps to turn his state around and who withstood the onslaught.

Update:  Steve Eggleston has a good review of the voting and why Democrats are overstating their chances against Walker.


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You read DailyKos? My sympathies.

Why do ‘recall elections’ remind me of ‘frivolous law suits’?

Nate Silver apparently sucked as a baseball statistician, and his only claim to fame is that he was able to predict who would win the 2008 Senate races as well as the presidency. And yet with this ONE accomplishment, he is treated as some sort of political numbers guru??? Excuse me if I take anything Nate Silver has to say with a giant grain of salt. As Yogi Berra said, “in theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” Nate Silver works in a world of theory, and while that might look good on a piece of paper it rarely comes to fruition in the real world. He is using what happened at one moment in time to make a prediciton on what will happen at another moment in time with human beings. He is treating humans as static that won’t/don’t change their minds from one moment to the next, which is soooo far from the truth.

We have a former WI legislative aide who has a blog called Playground Politics, who now lives in a different state. Not sure who he is (some people do know) as he uses the moniker Recess Supervisor. His comments at other blogs have always been a worthwhile read, he is the kind of guy who knows “where the bones are buried”.

Anyway, he did an excellent take on Tuesday night’s results.

Progressives arrested for animal abuse; caught screwing the pooch on Tuesday

For the benefit of those who don’t follow links, I’m taking the liberty of repeating the whole post:

“And looking at these results, that’s one sore puppy this morning.

Let’s consider ten quick points.

1. In every race, Democratic candidates either finished at or below where they were polling – in some cases, way below where they were polling. You can’t tell me the OWN crowd and the unions initiated and spent millions on these recalls to end up with results like Cowles +20, or Harsdorf +16.

2. Last night confirms what we learned in the Supreme Court race: every time the progressives try to crack the whip on the horse, they’re inadvertently whipping the conservative horse too. And in some places, they’re hitting the conservative horse twice. Alberta Darling went from a one-point nail-biter against Sheldon Wasserman in 2008 to an eight-point triumph against Sandy Pasch.

3. No matter what Democrats tell you, beating Dan Kapanke with a well-liked Representative in a Dem-trending district isn’t much of a win. That area’s been moving to the left since the Clinton administration. It was only a matter of time.

4. Jessica King barely beating a morally-compromised Randy Hopper is a sure sign that seat is heading back to the GOP column in 2012. Run someone without the personal baggage in a slightly more Republican district on the new maps, and Jessica would be well-advised to not quit her day job.

5. Nancy Nusbaum is even more of a lifeless retread than I expected her to be. Perhaps running a tepid, indecisive party-switcher wasn’t such a good strategy. Look at it this way – Dave VanderLeest got outspent 30+ to 1 in that same area and he put up 34%. Outside groups spent millions to get Nusbaum six points better?

6. Wisconsin desperately needs to raise the bar on its recall process. If people can recall public officials who then win their subsequent elections by 15 or 20 points, all we’re doing is wasting the time of our public officials and the money of our taxpayers. The easiest way to do that is to increase the signature threshold for these offices.

7. Luther Olsen’s four-point win probably owes as much or more to anti-Clark sentiment than pro-Olsen sentiment. Conservatives routinely pick on Luther for being a moderate and for his family’s ethanol interests. But when push came to shove, there are probably a number of conservative voters who were willing to put those differences aside to keep the Red-Light Runner from moving to the upper house.

8. Losing the Prosser race and then doubling down, only to fall short in the recalls, probably won’t stop the left from doubling down again and trying to get Walker. But one has to think that all of these lukewarm results will leave a lot of potential Democratic gubernatorial prospects with cold feet. Feingold can’t risk another statewide loss or his political career is over. Ron Kind may not be willing to give up his House seat, especially if the recall ends up on the November 2012 ballot. Steve Kagen’s a joke. Dave Obey will do it just for the attention but he’s washed up. Tom Barrett is damaged goods. Who’s it going to be?

9. Democrats have to be concerned that last night’s results might depress enthusiasm in next week’s elections, which could be bad for Jim Holperin. The Wirch seat is irrelevant, since a) the GOP won’t win it anyway and b) the GOP is giving the seat to the Democrats on the new map.

10. Dale Schultz is like the shining sun of the state Senate – no matter how hard people try otherwise, the damn body keeps revolving around him. For as much as partisans bemoan Schultz, he’s a shrewd politician. He sees the trends in his own district, which is why he works so hard to play nice with the unions and the Democrats. A 17-16 majority puts him back in the spotlight yet again.”

    SunnyJ in reply to alan markus. | August 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing this post. Very interesting and hard tack take on things here in Wisconsin. The news that the demonstrations against Walker cost 8 million in police (union) overtime alone hit the papers the same day as these Dem losses. Hearing the Dems talk about Walker recall after the last message sent Tuesday is not going to sit well. Unless some unknown causes the wheels to come off the wagon, and Walker continues with economy and numbers falling in line as they are….another push for recall could join hands with the already plummeting anti Obama sentiment and turn WI blood red for 2012. The Progs and unions need to really step back and think about what they are doing and how it is being perceived.

Markos Moulistas:

“But let me just say, if tonight was a loss, I hope we have many more such ‘losses’ in 2012.”

I feel a tingle up my leg. Could it be a rush of bipartisan agreement?

Professor Jacobson:

“And yes, sometimes I do head over there for the same reason I look at car wrecks at the side of the road.”

To see if they’re sporting lefty bumper stickers, no doubt.

LukeHandCool (who likes funny bumper stickers, funny-thinking Kos Kommunity members, funny movies, funny sunsets, and funny Playboy Playmates who think men really read their funny lists of likes and dislikes other than for the fact they are unintentionally funny, just like Markos).

Actually, Eggleston doesn’t say much about a Walker recall other than he won’t have forgotten how to campaign (one should hope not!)

According to the rest of his analysis, Democrats should be more sanguine about their prospects against Walker than against the four senators who won on Tuesday. After all each of them had won easily in the face of a Democratic “wave” election in 2008. Walker got a similar Republican “wave” for his 2010 election. Absent such a wave it is uncertain what the recall climate would be like.

    You are observant. In the course of doing background, I did run the numbers, but I did not fully-flesh them in the post as looking ahead to 2012 and something that may or may not happen was not the primary point. Outside the “special” cases of Olsen (who, until this summer, never had to run anything more than a token primary campaign) and Hopper (who was “damaged goods”), the Republican Senators’ margin was about 3.6 percentage points behind Walker’s margin. That suggests that, in a recall, Walker would win statewide by just better than a 51.0-49.0 margin. That is something that will be firmed up after next Tuesday, depending on whether and how many of the 2 Democrat recalls the GOP picks up (yes, it still is possible that when all is said and done, the GOP will have the same 19-14 advantage they had coming out of the spring).

    Moreover, the Democrats would have to get roughly 530,000 signatures on a recall petition. That is not much less than the entire population of the city of Milwaukee, the largest city in the state (or the combined population of the number 2-6 cities). Given that, for something north of $20 million, it is likely that all the Democrats will have done was “rent” a single Senate seat that doesn’t really matter for 17 months (and possible that all that happens is an even exchange), I consider it “less-than-certain” the national union money will be back in Wisconsin for the purpose of a quixotic recall.

      Merlin in reply to steveegg. | August 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      The outstate Democrat/union decision makers can’t be very happy with their ROI on that $35 million. These recalls have been pretty much an all or nothing proposition for them and they did not achieve their objectives. The Kloppenburg/Prosser affair wasn’t cheap, either. I suppose they can claim that gaining two Senate seats is progress, but they still continue to lose battle after battle. Despite their best efforts to rationalize and spin I have to believe their ground troops are beginning to get the message. Its going to be very difficult to keep them emotionally charged going forward. You’re absolutely right about a Walker recall effort now being an uncertainty.

        The $30 million-$40 million figure is, if memory serves, a grand total estimate of all the expenditures. The rough ballpark estimate is that the Left outspent the Right 2-1, which puts their share of the spending at somewhere between $20 million and $27 million.

        That is somewhere north of what they spent in either the gubernatorial race or the US Senate race in November. We’ll know by the end of Tuesday what, exactly, that bought them. My best guess is that it will end up being a 17-month “rental” of a Senate seat that ultimately changes nothing as the two districts that defied conventional wisdom (the 12th in favor of the Dems, the 32nd in favor of the Pubbies) no longer do.

“There will come a point where Wisconsin Democrats are going to become known as the party that demands a recall every time they get an election result they don’t like”

Democrats don’t always demand a recall. Usually they take the thing to court, and often just print up the ballots needed to change the results.

    alan markus in reply to Crawford. | August 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    You are right, it is more than just recalls – here’s a list (may be incomplete) of what we in Wisconsin have had to put up with:

    1) Our state Capitol in Madison continues to be the domain of the protesters. Has diminished value as a tourist destination, especially for families with young children.
    2) 14 Democratic Senators fled the state to hold the political process hostage for voting on the budget. I guess taking my cue from VP Biden, they were acting as terrorists.
    3) Lawsuit filed in Dane County to prevent budget bill from being enacted (later dismissed by Supreme Court).
    4) The unnecessary Supreme Court race (Kloppenberg/Prosser) recount.
    5) The alleged “choking” incident between Supreme Court Justices Prosser & Bradley. Making every attempt to keep that issue alive – Dane County DA has asked a Dane County Judge to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate. It happened quite awhile ago and witnesses aren’t saying much about it. Seems to be serving value as “dog-whistle” to keep the base motivated.
    6) The recalls, obviously.
    7) Just all the tinfoil hat wearing chatter that has to be listened to. The Koch brothers meme. The Waukesha County clerk “fixed” the Supreme Court election (she did inadvertently did not add one citie’s vote totals to the aggregated totals reported to the media on the night of the election). The “middle class/union members” under assault.
    8) Former State Senator Feingold (D) telling these folks that “the game is not over until we win”. So, basically, if a Republican “wins”, it doesn’t matter, there will be more “games” until a D wins.

    Anyway, for the average Wisconsinite, added up, it gets quite tedious, and I think that was reflected in Tuesday’s results.

shortwave8669 | August 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm

These are the kids who grew up playing soccer without keeping score-the one who were given a “champions” trophy for participation and for having a solid bowel movement and called an honor student for the Gentleman’s C through Jr. High to College graduation.

[…] the aisle, from the pols to the bloggers, and the media in between. My thanks to them, as well as William Jacobson […]

A point missed by many is the recall election was the best chance the dems had. It contained in 6 swing districts and fought on the Dems issues (Walker’s policies). And yet they lost the popular vote in these swing districts:

Clearly they will lose again and again, since this was the election they teed up to maximize their chances. From here on its id won hill.

I’m hoping they do try to recall Walker, and, more importantly, that they file lawsuits contesting these recent recall results.

Three reasons for this hope:

1. Drives home the “sore loserman” aspect spoken of above; and

2. Drains their coffers, induces future donor fatigue, and throws a pile of money into the local economy (via airtime for their ads, plus whatever ad work and polling/marketing/signmaking/organizing work is contracted locally.)

3. An anti-Walker campaign, after all of the losses and frustrations they’ve already endured, will degenerate into the most vile, scary, screaming, demonizing hatefest Wisconsin voters have ever experienced. Rebutting the screaming meemies calmly and quietly with stories about the under-the-radar thievery of the WEA Insurance Trust scam, the huge savings being found throughout the state in individual school districts, the actual origins of the money being spent by out-of-state Democrats to influence the election of THEIR governor, and a rational, honest, document-based rebuttal and discrediting of the whole Koch Brothers hysteria would likely result in a further and larger migration of voters away from the Dems and toward the center, and maybe even into the Republican Party.

Wisconsinites might drink like fish, but show them strong evidence that they’ve been played for fools by the national liberals, and they’ll get it, and their strong sense of (wounded) pride will drive this recall voting hard. The crusading nutcases in Madison – civil servants, teachers, and carpetbaggers – are going to end up flat on the ground, rubbing their heads and muttering “where’d that train come from?” three hours after the polls close on Walker’s recall election.

texaswindchimes | August 12, 2011 at 12:37 am

I read somewhere… sorry, can’t remember where… (I think RedState, but not sure) that the two Dems who won in the WI State Senate recall race were Assemblywomen. If that was true, I read, Governor Walker would get the pleasure of appointing the 2 NEW Assemblyfolk. *evil grin*

    Two points of order:

    – Only Jennifer Shilling out in La Crosse was an Assemblywoman.
    – Legislative vacancies are filled by special election.

    I just don’t see the Dems losing Shilling’s old seat.

      texaswindchimes in reply to steveegg. | August 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Ah, thanks for the correction/update. I did wonder but was thinking, if true, it would be a great day for the WI GOP.

Wisconsin recall battle…

Kim Simac, the founder of the Northwoods Patriots, fits the bill. And she is challenging Holperin Tuesday for his Senate seat.”

“It has been on our minds and in our plans for two years now to have someone from the tea party movement in the state Senate,” says Tim Dake, chair of Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty, a Tea Party Patriots organization. “If she wins, it is going to be huge.”

[…] Over at Legal Insurrection, a hope that the public-sector unions and leftists will go all-in for a recall attempt on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: Walker will win the recall, but more important, it will set a nice stage for the 2012 presidential election with the relative good fortune of a business friendly conservative Republican administration in Wisconsin contrasted with the dismal performance of Obama and national Democrats. […]

[…] Over at Legal Insurrection, a hope that the public-sector unions and leftists will go all-in for a recall attempt on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: Walker will win the recall, but more important, it will set a nice stage for the 2012 presidential election with the relative good fortune of a business friendly conservative Republican administration in Wisconsin contrasted with the dismal performance of Obama and national Democrats. […]